Open Source

By Mike Gifford on 05/11/2018
AXSChat Logo - Inclusion Matters
I had the pleasure of being on AXSChat talking about web accessibility and Drupal in October. It was actually a two stage process as Neil Milliken and Antonio Santo had a really fun video conversation on the Friday before. Unfortunately, Debra Ruh was not able to join us for the video discussion. That was captured and captioned and uploaded on the weekend. Then on Tuesday, October 23rd, we had an hour long Twitter discussion flooding the Twitterverse with questions about accessibility using the hashtag #axschat. You can watch the video here:


 
But thought that it might be interesting to...
By Mike Gifford on 04/11/2018
Tiffany Tse presenting about WET-BOEW or WxT at DrupalCamp
Derek Alton wrote a tweet in the middle of October that caught my eye and got me to come up with some suggestions. "Moment of frustration: I love bringing people who I think are inspiring together to do fun shit that they could not do on their own. Right now I feel like I have been bringing people together to talk when what I really want to do is bring people together to act, to do!"
I think of myself as a rather pragmatic guy so I suggested 10 tangible things that the GC can do. This is a cleaned up version of what I tossed up on Twitter.
Seems super simple & easy, but sponsor Open...
By Mike Gifford on 16/10/2018
The Government of Canada (GC) hosted Open First Day on Friday, September 28.  It was a really interesting opportunity for hundreds of people in public/private sector to get together and share their experiences.  
I’d like to start by congratulating them on the title of the event.  It wasn’t Consider Open Source Day or Learn about Open Source and Government Day.  It Was Open First Day. Open Standards, Open Data, Open Source and Open Government.  
The site for this conference was also forward thinking as it was all built on GitHub.  More and more government microsites are hosted on GitHub...
By Mike Gifford on 01/06/2018
Screenshot of CKEditor with a sample image.
After writing this article I learned about IBM’s Content Clarifier from Hassell Inclusion. Something like this could be built right into the workflow of your content creation process.
Accessibility (a11y) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is complex, but it doesn't have to be hard. If you have a good routine in place, you can write content that can be compelling for everyone.
So much can come down to the KISS Principle "Keep it simple, stupid". Like everything else in life, there are a lot of exceptions. Much comes down to doing your best to learn how to do it better. I have included some...
By Mike Gifford on 27/05/2018
Crowd on Canada Day
The GDPR is in effect. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law that is now in effect. This affects all organizations that service European citizens. In North America, most organizations only became aware of it recently.
The policies of the GDPR are quite broad and establish a bold Privacy by Design framework. Ann Cavoukian published the 7 Foundational Principles of privacy nearly a decade ago. At the time she was the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Since this time the amount of personally identifiable information (PII) has...
By Mike Gifford on 11/05/2018
Speakers at the meeting to produce a Canadian version of the OECD Playbook for ICT Procurement
Everybody wants their website to be accessible. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is key for any modern organization. In the Government of Canada, it is a clear part of the Liberal Party's mandate. Setting a strong policy direction is critical, but then what?
Most departments still see accessibility as a one-liner that can be added to an ICT contract. Then the responsibility for any shortfalls lies on the vendor.
Sadly, this doesn't work. Accessibility is a journey, not a destination.
Web accessibility is complicated, the ecosystem and use cases change over time. So what can...
By Mike Gifford on 09/05/2018
Cenotaph in Ottawa - Symbols of Privacy & Freedom
The tech sector has undermined personal privacy in the constant pursuit of the latest shiny thing. Privacy is a core component of our democracy and is essential for free expression.
Most have assumed that it is built into the online tools that they use every day. This isn't the case. The media coverage of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook how dangerous this is. The model of surveillance capitalism put forward by Google is now very advanced. Big Data & Artificial Intelligence gives businesses more insights than Big Brother dreamed possible.
Many people are coming to the realization that...
By Mike Gifford on 18/12/2017
Civic Tech Night at Rebel.com - YOWCT
I have been very encouraged by the growth of Open Government initiatives around the world. It’s done so much to help make governments more agile, responsive, accessible and affordable. Success of this model depends on a community of contributors, most of who who lie outside of government. This means that they also fall outside of the hierarchical chain of command.
How the public sector engages with that community may well determine how effective these initiatives are.
Supporting contributors
Governments don’t have either the mechanism or capacity to give money to people who contribute good...
By Mike Gifford on 02/10/2017
Photo from B Corp Retreat outlining need for interdependence.
OpenConcept is a pretty small company and most of our services we consume are digital, so in the scheme of things, we have a pretty small footprint on our planet and our local economy. That being said, as Mahatma Gandhi said “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it."
I just returned from my second B Corp Champions Retreat and I am even more enthusiastic about being able to leverage our small contributions to make a much bigger impact. I believe strongly in fixing the problems at the source, and many of our societal problems boil down to consumption...
By Mike Gifford on 13/06/2017
A friend using his eye-tracking software
Originally posted on LinkedIN in two parts.
Building Digital Inclusion into Organizations
There are an increasing number of organizations that are looking to make their organizations more inclusive to People with Disabilities (PwD). Some organizations do this because they are seeking talent, others because of ethics and still others because it is the law. There are lots of little steps that any organization could do to include more people with disabilities. This is a description of an approach for an organization that wanted to demonstrate leadership.
Accessibility is a big field and although...

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